July 25, 2006

July Hottest Month in Netherlands in 300 Years

AMSTERDAM -- July 2006 is on track to be the hottest month in the Netherlands since temperatures were first measured in 1706, the Dutch meteorological institute KNMI said on Tuesday.

Average daily temperatures in the first 24 days of July were a record of 22.3 degrees Celsius (72.14F) compared with the previous record of 21.4 degrees in July 1994 and normal average temperatures of 17.4, the KNMI said.

"July 2006 is the hottest month ever," it said in a statement.

Dutch temperature records, launched in the beginning of the 18th century, are among the oldest in the world. Methodical thermometer-based records began on a more global basis around 1850.

Dutch meteorologists say they cannot make a direct link between global warming and the heatwave in Europe, although the KNMI has forecast a clear warming trend in the next 50 years and an increasing number of heatwaves.

Temperatures in the Netherlands rose as high as 36-37 degrees last week, when two people died during a walking event which was later canceled.